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6 things I miss about Helsinki & Finland

 

I’ve lived in England for over five years now and being apart from my friends and family never really gets any easier, although you do get used to it. But, aside from the people, there are lots of other things I miss from time to time, too – some are pretty big things and some might sound tiny and insignificant, but for me are very nostalgic and symbolise home.

 

I’ve listed a few of these things below, and I’d love to hear what things you miss most from your hometown or country, too! 

 

 

The light summer nights 

 

This is the big one. I honestly think there’s nothing better than the Finnish summer (when it’s being good, anyway…) – it’s not the hottest, but it’s not super cold either (except that time when it was 12 degrees at midsummer *hides away*) and, most importantly, there’s just SO much light. In Helsinki, the sun sets around 11 pm in June and rises around 4 am, and it’s honestly just the most wonderful thing in the world. Especially when combined with those warm summer evenings!

 

All the greenery 

 

London might have all the parks, but Helsinki and the rest of Finland has greenery hiding around every corner. The streets, even in the centre, are filled with trees, which makes everything feel so much more peaceful and less like a big city. Things get even better when you leave the bigger cities – you don’t even have to go that far! Finland has a population of 5.5 million and geographically it’s pretty much double the size of England – you do the math! 

 

 

Sweets 

 

Finnish people are obsessed with sweets and you can tell this by visiting any supermarket or town – there are so many pick and mix shops everywhere and the supermarket sweet isles are looooong. We also have amazing chocolate (by a brand called Fazer) even though Finland might not be the first country that comes to mind when asked where to find the best chocolate. We don’t just have sweet sweets either, though – Finland, and the rest of the Nordics are very well known for their salty liquorice which is – honestly – AMAZING. It might be a bit of an acquired taste, but I dare you to try it out if you have the chance! 

 

Salty liquorice McFlurry 

 

This kind of naturally follows from the previous point… Salty liquorice McFlurry is the best kind of McFlurry and I won’t hear any arguments! We also used to have a gingerbread flavour at Christmas which was a close contender, but I don’t think they do that anymore. Sniff!

 

 

S P A C E

 

I’m writing this from the confines of rush hour Central line and I’ve never craved space more than I do now… I already mentioned earlier how big Finland is geographically and how small our population is, so you can probably guess that there’s a lot more space than there is in London… Even in the capital, where the rush hour can get very annoying at times, it never feels as suffocating as London can sometimes feel.  The other day I heard myself remarking how Oxford Street “really even isn’t that busy” at 4:30 on a Friday, only because I’m used to it being so much worse at 1 pm on a Saturday… I think that means that I’ve lived in London for too long now!

 

Warm houses 

 

As Finland is such a cold country, the houses and flats there are built accordingly. I lived on my own in a flat for 4 years before moving to London and I never once had to think about heating or if it would be too expensive to put it on. Things just worked! The first night I spent in the first house I lived in London, though, I shivered throughout the night and in the end had to sleep in my winter coat. Suffice to say I’ve got proper duvets since! 

 

 

THINGS I *DON’T* MISS

 

How expensive it is to eat out 

 

A Margherita pizza can be about £14 and a small cider (and you can forget about getting a full pint) about £6. One thing I love about London is how you can easily eat under a tenner in so many places, something that’s quite hard to achieve in Helsinki. Although I do know a few spots, but these are all mostly fast food places. 

 

ALL THE SNOW 

 

SO. MUCH. SNOW. My mum last sent me photos a week ago and it had snowed again. It can get pretty devastating when all you want is spring! 

 

What do you miss (or don’t miss!) from your hometown or country?

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